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Surrendering Time

Posted by Julie on February 26, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Speaking, surrender, Writing |

If you’ve read this site or anything else from me, you know my focus is surrender and chocolate. What you might not know is that for the last few months, God has been behind the scenes whispering His plans for me to take that focus and go crazy. global with it.

I ignored the stirring at first, because I honestly felt what I was doing and how I was accomplishing it was just fine. At the end of the day argument with God that I had no chance of winning, a door opened and I knew I had to go through it.

So here we are. logo

I am now pursuing writing and speaking full time where I share my passion for audiences to surrender the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate. I’ll keep writing fiction, I think it’s a key part of God’s plan. So many readers, women especially, are wounded. They are looking not just for escape through romance, but for encouragement. I want to be a vessel that gives them hope and the desire to find that freedom in Christ that comes from surrender.

My first project is taking my Adirondack series and re brand it as the Surrendering Time series. I’m re releasing ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present and making ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past available this spring. ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, will be available this fall.

I’ve sat down and mapped out a number of goals and projects and they take me into 2017. It’s part of the shift I keep talking about on Facebook as my husband is in a new position and often works from home, our son is transitioning to college, and our daughter, to middle school.

Surrendering Time isn’t just my contemporary romance series, it’s where my life is at right now.

Can you relate?

P.S.

I have a couple FREE surrender resources available. My monthly newsletter, Surrender Issues and Chocolate, gives surrender tips and encouragement, recipes, Reader-of-the-Month profiles, giveaways and more.

Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate is a brief, weekly e mail with encouragement and a chocolate mention.

Both are available in the left sidebar of my website.

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A Sweet Weekly Encouragement Just for You

Posted by Julie on December 19, 2015 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Is there anything better than encouragement?
Okay, chocolate is definitely on the list.

Well, I’ve done a lot of praying this last quarter on what specific things could I be doing to reach the most people with the message I believe God has me to share.

The message?

Simply, Surrender Issues and Chocolate.

What do I mean?

I believe people find freedom when they surrender. That was the one quote that jumped at me when I watched War Room. Miss Clara said something to the effect, “Before you can have victory, you first have to surrender.”

My goal is to encourage and cheer as you lay those things down.

Sometimes they are good things. I’ve had to surrender a home and loved ones because a job took us somewhere new.

I’ve had to let go of bad things. Fear of what people thought of me. Fear of rejection.

And, I confess, I’m not quite ready to give up the chocolate. But maybe, one day I will.

I think we can all relate. So, to cheer you on, starting in January I’m sending a sweet, weekly encouragement that will help you in your surrender journey.

Each week in your inbox you will find a short surrender based message that will always include some chocolate mention. I want you to start your week right and feel less alone. The encouragement my free gift to you.

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Julie Arduini invites you to receive a Sweet, Weekly Encouragement delivered to your inbox.

Want in? I hope you do.

To subscribe to Julie Arduini’s Sunday’s Surrender with Chocolate, click HERE. (Remember to check all folders in your inbox for activation.)

Please tell others, let’s have fun in 2016 together!

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Saturday Confession: I Surrendered the Fake and Got Real

Apparently God’s got a theme for the season and it isn’t raking leaves and turkeys.

It’s fake vs real.

Masking vs transparency.

Prison vs freedom.

Not long ago I posted about My Fake Family.

After that went live people started to comment about my necklace. I’d clutch it and blurt, “It’s fake. It’s a knock-off of Origami Owl. I paid $20 and that includes the chain and four charms.”

And no one could tell the difference.

Including one woman who bought the original at three figures and wasn’t happy with her deficit.

I’ve done the same with the ring I wear on my wedding finger. My original wedding rings are packed somewhere because they don’t fit and I really struggled with them. At the time I was so low in self worth I didn’t want a ring. I didn’t feel that I should have one. As we married and grew in size and faith, the rings didn’t fit and I still didn’t feel right about them. It was the old me that had those rings.

The ring I wear now is from our anniversary cruise to Mexico. To me it represents the real me, a daughter of the Lord who has fought hard for everything we have. I don’t mean things, I mean prayers. Life’s battles. And to be at fifteen years (at the time) and not only still married but growing closer, that was cause for victory.

Hello, cruise jewelry sale.

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My husband is mortified at what he paid for that ring. I mean it was under $100  $50  $45. It’s Mexican gold, I think, and I don’t care. It’s a sparkly thing with as much sass as I have. Surrounding it are 14 small diamonds. Add them up and you get 15 for our anniversary.

When I take care of it and remember to wear it, it looks like the real deal and again, I can’t help but blurt it out. “It’s fake.”

Something changed a couple weeks ago. I blurted, “It’s fake. But I’m real.”

And then the Holy Spirit download began.

That answer wasn’t always the case. I lied through my teeth, in church, especially in church, telling everyone I was fine. I wasn’t. I was wounded, lost and in desperate need of a spiritual and emotional healing. It didn’t come until I surrendered the fake and got real.

I can’t speak for the guys but us women, it’s a temptation. The name brand purse. Top of the line shoes. Fancy jewelry.

The lies we tell when asked how we are. The mail we hide because it exposes the sham of a perfect home. How? It probably contains bills we can’t pay. Legal documents ending what we pretend is the best thing in our circle. School letters spelling out what we don’t want to face.

It made me think of reality celebrities. Everything Kim Kardashian wears to an event is probably top notch, name brand, real stuff. But let’s be honest–she’s a reality star on a show. Sorry, but the show is scripted. Sorry again, her life is scripted. Not much about her is real. And I don’t envy her.

For this topic to come up again gives me the inkling someone out there read the first post about the fake family and shoved their issues further away praying that nudge was anything but the Godly hey, let’s work on this they deep down know was happening. Well, this post is for you.

Not to condemn you.

But to encourage you.

I was the queen of masking. I know all the pat answers, sincere expressions and token cliches. I also know how hollow I felt living that way.

Surrendering the fake answers, phony lifestyle and pretend happiness was one of the best things I’ve ever chosen for my life and the people who love me. There is a freedom I promise you money can’t buy or people can’t get for you. It’s for you to decide.

Don’t let my shiny fake jewelry be what gets you to confront whatever it is God’s trying to help and heal you with.

Let my real love for you and the prayer I lifted up writing this be that instead.

 

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Saturday Confession: Resurrected Fire

Posted by Julie on November 15, 2014 in encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Saturday Confession |

I don’t know what it is about men and fire but they seem to think their success depends on a roaring fire.

I’m just grateful for enough flame to burn a marshmallow.

But with a new firepit and nice weather, we’ve had a few fires.

And frustrations.

The last fire did not want to take off. It showed potential, sputtered, and returned to a bright ember.

But then my husband did something that really spoke to me.

He gently blowed on the dying ember.

And the fire came back to life.

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I’m terrible with symbolism and even I get it.

Without that time with the Lord, that flame, that passion we carried as new Christians, wanes. It isn’t about going to church. It’s about building a relationship with the One who sacrificed all for love. Talk to Him. Read His Word.

And when we get away from those things, and we do, let the living God breathe life back into you.

One of the most profound Holy Spirit moments I had was during a study on Esther. The host church transformed the sanctuary each week to the theme of the chapter for the week. It was all about the King’s chambers and women were invited to go forward and petition the king, so to speak.

I knelt outside the veiled chamber.

And the gentle breath but convicting message nearly blew me down.

“You always bring everyone to me, ushering them behind the veil. Yet, you rarely take the opportunity to go there yourself.”

It’s true. My heart is so full of wanting people to be set free that I forget in order to stay free, I need to develop that relationship. Allow holy breathing on this fading ember.

This truth really smacked me. How about you?

 

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Sabbath Sunday: Freedom

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Each Sunday I try to share my own nature picture with a thought or two about God’s love for you.

I’ve never seen a limp flag, have you? Even on a non windy day I think our flags still represent so many strong themes. Freedom. Sacrifice. Heroes.

Freedom in your life will never be a weak victory. Choosing Christ to help you conquer fear, anger, the past, and more will never be the crutch or loser decision the world would have you believe.

Freedom in you is like this flag.

Regal. Majestic. Strong. Inspiring.

May freedom in Him be yours today!

Julie Arduini picture at Riverside Gardens, Youngstown

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Character Confession: Freedom

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Each Sunday I try to share my own nature picture with a thought or two about God’s love for you.

I’ve never seen a limp flag, have you? Even on a non windy day I think our flags still represent so many strong themes. Freedom. Sacrifice. Heroes.

Freedom in your life will never be a weak victory. Choosing Christ to help you conquer fear, anger, the past, and more will never be the crutch or loser decision the world would have you believe.

Freedom in you is like this flag.

Regal. Majestic. Strong. Inspiring.

May freedom in Him be yours today!

Julie Arduini picture at Riverside Gardens, Youngstown



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